Back in the 1970s and 1980s, one of the annual traditions in Washington D.C. was the announcement of the Golden Fleece Awards, which identified the some of the biggest and silliest things the U.S. federal government wasted money upon during the previous year.
Originally launched by former Senator William Proxmire (D-WI), his spirit lives on as today’s version, Wastebook 2011, has gone bipartisan as Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has picked up the wasteful spending gauntlet on Capitol Hill. Here’s a quick sampling from Senator Coburn’s announcement of the release of Wastebook 2011:
Examples of wasteful spending highlighted in “Wastebook 2011” include:
- $75,000 to promote awareness about the role Michigan plays in producing Christmas trees & poinsettias.
- $15.3 million for one of the infamous Bridges to Nowhere in Alaska.
- $113,227 for video game preservation center in New York.
- $550,000 for a documentary about how rock music contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
- $48,700 for 2nd annual Hawaii Chocolate Festival, to promote Hawaii’s chocolate industry.
- $350,000 to support an International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy.
- $10 million for a remake of “Sesame Street” for Pakistan.
- $35 million allocated for political party conventions in 2012.
- $765,828 to subsidize “pancakes for yuppies” in the nation’s capital.
- $764,825 to study how college students use mobile devices for social networking.
Read the full report: here
Wastebook 2011 features 100 wasteful federal government spending items, totaling 6.9 billion dollars. If U.S. politicians are honestly looking for places to cut the budget, why not start with stuff like this?